A Talk With D.J. MacHale
Kid Reporter talks to author about his work
Scholastic Kid Reporter Aaron Broder and author D.J. MacHale. Photo: Aaron Broder
In Pendragon: An Adventure through Time and Space, 14-year-old Bobby Pendragon learns that he isn’t exactly a run-of-the-mill teenager. In fact, he learns that he is a Traveler, one of the people that have the job of protecting the universe from a demon-like person—Saint Dane.
D.J. MacHale is the author of the Pendragon series, and has many other credits on his resume, like the Nickelodeon show Are You Afraid of the Dark? and the TV movie Tower of Terror. I recently had the opportunity to speak with him when he came to the Linebaugh Public Library in Murfreesboro, Tennessee to speak with students about writing, movies, and, of course, Pendragon.
“To write, you need to find what you love,” said MacHale. The author explained how he used to hate writing—or, at least, he thought he did. In high school, instead of writing papers like assigned, he and his friends would make movies about the subject matter, thinking it got them out of writing. He didn’t realize that what he was doing was writing, but in college, one of his teachers said to him something that he now finds obvious. “Do you enjoy telling stories? Then you are a writer.”
On Pendragon’s popularity
“I really didn’t expect it to become as popular as it did,” he said. When you are writing, he explained, you always hope for it to be successful, but you never, ever expect it. “It has been a really great experience to have started with just that first draft, and to now see the books on the New York Times Bestsellers List.”
“When I first started writing Pendragon, I wrote it with a movie in mind [because I am a film person myself]. However, because it has become so popular, I am nervous to do it. It is difficult to create a movie that is faithful [to the book], and I do not want to alienate the fans. I am still considering it, though.”
When asked which character he enjoyed writing most, Bobby or Saint Dane, MacHale said Saint Dane. “It is much more fun to write about villains then heroes," he said. "The villains are the ones that think out the scheme, and the heroes just kind of come along for the ride.”
On What’s In Store
MacHale’s eighth Pendragon book, The Pilgrims of Rayne, is in stores now. In this installment, MacHale promises plenty of mystery, action, and intrigue. There will be a total of ten books in the series.
Check out Kid Reporter Aaron Broder's review of The Pilgrims of Rayne, the newest book in the Pendragon series.
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Aaron Broder is a member of the Scholastic Kids Press Corps.